Not even lightning – nor HB2 – could stop the greatest performance and performer on earth.
On Tuesday, Raleigh was the fourth stop of Beyonce’s much anticipated Formation World Tour. Carter-Finley Stadium, home of the NC State Wolfpack football team, hadn’t heard as many cheers as Queen Bey received in years. And let’s face it, not many performers with the stature of Beyonce’ come to Raleigh. If they come to North Carolina, most likely they will perform in Charlotte. Carter-Finley provides the perfect venue with its 57,000-plus seats and is Raleigh’s largest outdoor venue. Within the last 25 years, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, U2 and The Rolling Stones have played Carter-Finley.
There is another reason some performers recently haven’t come to North Carolina. The Boss and Ringo Starr decided not to perform in North Carolina within the last month because of the controversial House Bill 2 law – bka HB2 – which discriminates against the LGBT community and in part says that individuals may only use restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.
Beyonce’ did not hold against her fans a senseless law, that the people of this state did not vote on, yet the affects have had some negative economic impact on North Carolina and has caused national embarrassment to the state.
As a matter of fact she gave her fans a performance for the ages.
Politics aside, Beyonce’ would not disappoint her fans. That was evident and genuine when during some moments, while owning the stage like no one else can, she seemed to have some almost “shy” moments, genuinely acknowledging the fans in a manner sort of like when you meet someone for the first time and you are a little nervous about it. She constantly blew kisses to the crowd, thanking them for coming out to the show. Even when more than half of the show was over and lightning halted the performance for more than an hour, she could have canceled the rest of the show. After all, who knew when the lightning would dissipate? She had already put on a top level show and at that point, fans had gotten there monies worth.
“Thanks for staying around,” Beyonce’ said to the crowd as the lights in the stadium were turned off after the lightning delay and the show resumed as almost everyone in the near capacity crowd had returned to their seats with the megastar coming out on stage performing Drunk in Love.
During the show, Beyonce’ sang all of her solo hits, songs from her new album Lemonade, songs from her time with Destiny’s Child and songs from other artists. The crowd sang along to hits like Run the World, Flawless, Me Myself and I, Single Ladies, Naughty Girl and others. Of course there was a dedication to the late Prince.
Beyonce’ is a true performer. While at times she performed by herself particularly to slower songs, her dancers were very much a part of the show, including the opening song Formation. The visuals from the Lemonade album were shown on the stage screen particularly during small breaks in the performance during brief wardrobe changes.
I saw Michael Jackson as a nine-year-old when he came to Washington DC’s RFK Stadium in 1984. I don’t remember that much of the concert. I was in Miami in 2013 covering Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Spurs. I was in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (Beyonce’ performed there on April 29) covering Super Bowl XLIII between the Cardinals and Steelers.
Like those, this is one of those events you never forget.
My seats were on the floor, 14 rows back from the stage and I, like most in the audience, followed her every move on stage, mesmerized by this southern girl turned international superstar.